Category Archives: Family

No Context For You – April 15th

You had to be there.

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No Context For You – November 09th

There’s something tantalizing here. Almost enough detail to recognize where and when I inadvertently pushed a button and saved an image without realizing it.


Meanwhile, Jeez Louise, *WHEN* did it become **NOVEMBER**??!!

Sorry, it caught me off guard today.

Way back at the beginning of the year I wrote about how last year became the “year without Christmas” for me. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, given what I got to exchange Christmas for, but it was odd. (And to answer the question posed at the end of that article – right here at home, given the nature of the business at my new job.)

But then 2019 has had its own unique sets of “challenges,” many of which have impacted other holidays, both societal and personal.

For example, between 2018 and 2019, it’s the first time in forever that we didn’t go somewhere to watch fireworks on July 4th. Oh, from the new house, which is on the top of a hill, we can see them off in the distance – but it’s not the same.

In both 2018 and 2019, it’s the first time in forever when we haven’t been to an Angels baseball game. None. Not one. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

Labor Day or thereabouts used to be Worldcon. Maybe not every year like when I was in college or soon thereafter (i.e., before the kids arrived) but usually at least 2 out of three years, or three out of five. Now – nothing since 2009. Hell, we didn’t even get to the Worldcon in San Jose last year!

Our trips to the movie theaters have plummeted. We used to go at least once a month – now it’s once or twice a year. Maybe.

Halloween at the new house has been a non-event for two years in a row now. We used to have so, so many kids come by and bring out the telescopes. Now, even though we’re only a mile away, we might as well be on a rural highway halfway between Renwick and Hardy, Iowa.

So here we are in early November and Thanksgiving is less than three weeks away. We’ll be doing…what?

And Christmas is only six and a half weeks away. We know we won’t be traveling, but will the lights and festivities and decorations and celebrations be up to our familiar standards?

One might start to think that we’re doing this “adulting” thing incorrectly.

(Thank you for attending my TED whine!)



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Funcle Paul & The Telescope

We still have family in town following the wedding, including a three-year-old who loves stars and moons and planets.

It would be amazing to clean and restore the big telescope and take it out to a dark sky location and show her a whole range of deep sky objects and nebulae and galaxies and globular clusters and telling her all about redshifts and spectroscopy and how Hubble figured out that the universe was so much more immense than anyone had ever dreamed possible and inspiring her for a whole life of wonder and exploration and love of science…

But she’s three.

So dragging the scope out onto the back porch with a dusty mirror in a light polluted city and showing her the crescent moon probably worked just as well.

I am the Funcle.

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Scattered Back On The Winds

Having gathered family and friends from the four corners of the globe (literally), with the festivities completed (and they WERE festive!) it was time today to scatter the children back on the winds.

The Older Daughter had to be back at work this morning in Northern California, so she made the long drive back last night.

I was up way too damn early to drive The Son to the airport, which not only completely played “52 Pick Up” with their pick up traffic (taxis, Uber, Lyft, etc are now off in an off-site lot which no one can find and no one can figure out how to get to or from) but which also appears to be 100% under construction.

Isn’t it iconic?

Then the Younger Daughter and her newly minted husband, The Son-In-Law, took off for their honeymoon.

So as we speak, one is in a plane to Asia near the end of an eleven-hour-plus flight, and the others are near the US/Canada border on their way to Europe.

And tomorrow I’m back to the office to play catch up after the long weekend.

Time to go looking for a new normal, a new routine. It’s been magnificent, but I really could use a little bit of boredom for a few weeks!



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Party #3 With Babies & Virga

That was quite the wedding! A good time was truly had by all.

Today was the third party in three days, this time for The Long-Suffering Wife’s family.

Again the back yard in our entertainment-friendly home was pressed into service – again a good time was had by all. There were babies there as well, which explains the stroller/jumper that had been sitting in the living room (a serious source of conversation for those visiting for the first party!). In addition to the brunch and mimosas and champagne, there was T-ball, coloring books, and a little bit of poop.

There was also virga, much to my surprise.

Yesterday the amount and scope of the virga in the area was much, MUCH larger and we actually got some brief showers earlier in the day when I was taking people back and forth to the wedding venue. Imagine my surprise when, with 0.00% chance of rain in the forecast for the next ten days, we had to worry a bit about rain (it was a partially outdoor venue) when for weeks we had been worrying about the threat of fire.

Finally, did *I* have a good time at my daughter’s wedding?

(Photo taken by my brother-in-law)

You bet your ass I did!

(Yes, I also tied that bow tie all by myself, for better or for worse. Why do you ask?)

Now to get folks to the airport, back on the road home, or off to their next vacation destination. We’re in the home stretch!



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A Most Wonderful Wedding

It was.

And still is!

Talk amongst yourselves – we’re going to carry on and party for a while! 🎉🍾🎈

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Rehearsal Dinner

Which it really wasn’t, at least in the strictest sense of the term. There was no rehearsal for tomorrow’s wedding.

What it was was a chance for the bride and groom to spend time chilling and schmoozing with their friends and family, many of whom had come from out of town, out of state, or even out of the country. That mission was accomplished.

A good time was had by all.

We were more than happy to offer our place as a venue for the celebration. We do love how entertaining friendly this house is. It’s fun to make it happen, especially for our daughter and her fiancé.

Tomorrow – the big day.

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Halloween 2019

It’s one night in particular when I miss the old house.

We always had hundreds of kids coming by. Families. Teenagers. Little kids. Pets.

If it was clear we always brought out the telescopes and let everyone take a look. It was magical.

No more. Last year I think we had a small handful of trick or treaters, a dozen at the most.

This year, not a single person stopped by. We’re at the top of the hill and off on a side street, but I didn’t even see anyone on any of the streets leading into our tract when I drove home.

Maybe it’s the fires. There’s another big one going off tonight, over 5,000 acres already in just a few hours. The “good” news for us is that it’s off in
Ventura County and doesn’t seem to be a threat to our wedding plans for Saturday.

Let the partying begin. Halloween’s over and was something of a bust (although we did have a fun Halloween lunch party at my new office!)…

…but the wedding weekend is going to be AWESOME!

Hello, November!

Let the partying begin!

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At The Top Of The Lift Hill

Anyone who rides roller coasters is familiar with the “lift hill.” It’s the slow part at the beginning of many coasters where you slowly get hauled up a big, BIG hill to get the gravitational potential energy that’s going to be expended to propel you through a series of high speed twists, loops, spins, and other maneuvers generally intended to make you puke.

Usually you’re pulled up by a big chain underneath the car and you hear it clacking and clanking all the way up. But at the top there’s a change in the timbre of the sound as the first cars start to go over the summit and the rest of the train quickly follows and the cars pull away from the chain.

In a metamorphic sense, that final sound as you go over the top is the theme song for today.

There’s the new job, which is going well, but which is extremely busy and a bit intense.

There’s my usual bit at the CAF hangar where I’m always running the Red Queen’s Race.

And the winds have started howling here again tonight while the humidity has dropped into single digits. In the Bay Area there are close to two million people without power (NOT a typo!) as PG&E deliberately shuts down the grid to prevent the fires that its faulty infrastructure started two or three days ago. Here in LA there are still a couple of fires burning but the evacuation orders have been lifted – for now. We remain vigilant and nervous.

But for us personally, the big source of life’s flips, spins, loops, and stomach-lurching changes is a wedding next Saturday. Our youngest daughter is getting married, and the family starts coming into town tomorrow. I got to spend most of today frantically cleaning up the back yard and preparing it for the multiple parties and celebrations being held here next weekend. I spent a while this evening putting together a baby walker for some of the young ones coming in, one of whom I’ll be meeting for the first time.

I got my tux today. (First one I’ve ever owned.) I have a week to learn how to tie a bow-tie. (I accidentally got a clip-on as an emergency back-up if needed – I won’t need it.)

So maybe expect short posts the rest of the week.

Oh, and needless to say, but I’ll say it anyway, I won’t be doing “NaNoWriMo” this year.

No matter how much I might enjoy the roller coaster of life, there’s only so much screaming I can handle!

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Birthday Knight Out

Not my birthday, but our daughter’s, one of those that end in a zero. So we’re the old pharts that got to go along with her and all of her wild and crazy friends to eat with our hands and watch dudes in very extravagant costumes ride horses and pretend to fight with various swords, flails, lances, and maces. (Macii? Maceses? Mace?)

It’s bright and colorful and loud…

…but I couldn’t help but wonder what their worker’s comp rates must be like.

I need to update my usual profile picture, but I’m not sure this is the one to use. I think at the moment I was not only contemplating how I looked in the crown, but the fact that our youngest child is now starting her fourth decade.

I can’t possibly be that old!

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